When Nick Drummond and Patrick Bakker bought a 1915 home in Ames, N.Y., they were told it had been built by a notorious bootlegger who died mysteriously in 1932. They thought it was an urban legend. The legend became real recently when they found 66 Prohibition-era bottles of whiskey hidden within the walls and floorboards of the home, located about three hours from New York City.
“Our walls are filled with bundles of booze!” posted Drummond, a designer and historic preservationist, on social media. “I can’t believe the rumors are true! He was actually a bootlegger!” The couple had been living in the house for a little more than a year when Drummond began renovations by removing outside skirting along the bottom of the mudroom attached to the house. A mysterious package fell out. “I’m like what is that? I’m very confused,” he told CNN. The bottles were labeled Old Smuggler Gaelic whiskey, which is still made today. Each was wrapped in tissue paper and straw and bundled in a package of six. The couple plans to leave the bottles they found empty or evaporated preserved in the home and sell the ones they found full. The full bottles could be valuable, depending on the labels and preservation. The couple said they will keep one bottle to taste test. In 2018, a mostly filled Old Smuggler Gaelic whiskey bottle from the 1920s sold for about $1300.